Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Keeping one foot in front of the other...and me and Sarah Palin.

One day progresses into the next, but the seasons outside my window show me that time is moving along regardless of my own perceptions. The rusty-colored leaves of the oaks are mostly gone and I love the opening up of the view from the front of our house. Now, I can see the hills, clad is shades of blue and green and gray, a couple of miles across the valley from us. These are called The Horse Heaven Hills, and at night, I can now enjoy the twinkling lights from the homes there, while before twilight, the westward-facing windows of those same homes reflect the brilliance of each orange or rosy-hued sunset.

Our neighbor just brought us a cord of firewood. We like supporting our neighbors in their labors of supplementing their own disability incomes. We know how much hard work it takes to go up into the mountains and cut and gather blocks of wood, split it up, bring it home and sell it, all to earn a meager amount for the amount of work involved. We did it for many years.

Medically, tomorrow is the appointment for my SPECT scan and the new lumbar MRI. However, I'm waiting for the authorization of these tests from my workers comp insurance company. If this is not forthcoming today, I will cancel the trip to Portland for tomorrow, reschedule perhaps for next week. God has a plan. I am actually looking forward to the SPECT scan with hopes it will reveal some things that no one else has been able to see.

I've been mostly staying in the house. I "think" about stepping outside, at least for some fresh air or to check on what my husband has going in his shop, but the thought of the walking and how it affects me keeps me inside. It's been a mixed-bag of weather, sunny for a few hours in the afternoons, most mornings start off cold, frosty, some fog, and some high clouds. Our weather is greatly affected by the ebb and flow of wind and water off the nearby, mighty Columbia.

On Saturday, we did drive to our shopping town over in Oregon, and I realised that was my first time out in a week.

My appetite is noticeably lessening, to me, actually a good thing. I need to lose weight and not doing much, it's hard to lose even an ounce. But with my swallowing issues now, the thought of food stuck in my throat for hours keeps me from wanting to eat much. I think I've lost a little.

Lastly, I've been reading Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue."

I've always been a fan of this strong woman who had an obvious heart for serving our country. Yet, with her book, I've kept an instinctive, open mind. I didn't want to read it like a fan letter to herself. I didn't want to hear whining about treatment behind the scenes of the VP campaigns. I wanted to see the "stuff" she was made of.

She writes, obviously, without a co-author. In the first half of her book, her writing seems simplistic, colloquial and down-home. With folksy statements including phrases like "we kicked butt" and "we beat feet down to the courthouse," I wasn't sure how she would come across to the rest of the country. I mean, I love that type of talking, I talk that way too. But...I was expecting something that I thought was more academic from a person I voted for and expect to follow in the future.

I grew to love her talking style which was reflected in her writing. It "fit" me like a glove. Yet, I was also impressed when, halfway through the book, as Sarah began to write about her Governorship in Alaska, there wasn't any more of that folksy kind of communication. Subtly, Sarah got down to the business of what governing is about, serving the constituents, making things better even when tough choices must be made.

Reading her way of dealing with corrupt government and "Big Oil" has been inspiring and informative. I came away from the read with a huge respect for this woman and her family. And I consider the reported 9 or 10 investigators who have been hired to go over the facts in her book with the fine-tooth-comb. I know they want to earn their wages and come up with fabrications and fairy tales within her pages, but the book has been out a few weeks now and no one has come forth yet with any such allegations. I mean, she names names in this book in a way I, as an author, never would do. I admire her!

What they have been through, the judgments that have befallen Sarah Palin that would never have been put upon others, it all adds up to a good read. She is not whining in any sense of the word. Like me, she grew up working with men, and there is little compassion for whiners in that environment. She's just stating the facts, briefly, and then moving on.

I can understand now why she wanted to write this book, to tell "her side" of it all. I'm glad she has. I thought I liked her before. After reading this great book, I'm one of her biggest fans. One thing I've noted: during the VP campaign and even now, she doesn't have a chance to come across as intelligent as she truly is. She is not someone who really talks in sound bites. She needs time to explain her position, which I've learned from the read is basically that of Ronald Reagan, a political view she's held since high school.

I also have wondered if the interviewers, even those conservative ones, had read her book before interviewing her. There are so many fascinating questions I'd have asked her if I had the chance! The main thing is, this is a brilliant woman with good, common sense born of being raised on the Last Frontier and working at the physically-demanding jobs of Bristol Bay fishing, gutting fish at cannery plants, waitressing, putting herself through college earning her tuition herself. Her life has been one of hard knocks and she is a first-class survivor,handling each scenario with grace and aplomb.

One other thing: she has achieved and served in several ways I simply was not aware of and was not brought out in the VP campaign. For example, she held the office of President of the Alaska Mayors association when she was Wasilla mayor. And she also worked for the Governor of Alaska, before her terms in that office, as a liason with the big oil companies. This takes a tough and battle-hardened person of any gender, to stand up among these big moneyed corporations. After the assumption of the Governor's office, she caused changes throughout Alaska by causing more oil development and also initiating a watershed project of bringing natural gas to the lower 48.

Anyway....I'll get down off my soapbox now. Whether she runs for president some day or not, her book is definitely eye-opening.


Patty McNally Doherty said...

I forget how I came across your blog. I read a random entry and was so intrigued by your writing that I started at the beginning and read from 2007 to the present. What an incredible story you're writing! The flashbacks to your early days of marriage and your cabin with no running water. Simply incredible, so descriptive. Falling asleep on horseback, hypothermia. My kids were waiting for dinner, my husband wanted to go out, and I could not pull myself away from the screen, until I had read every word.

I read a lot, on a lot of different subjects, and I think it's important that you know I've never been so moved by such a powerful tale as the one you're telling.

By His Grace said...


I am bowled over by your comment. I've been struggling to think of something to reply. All I can say is that your words really brought sunshine to my day and have stayed with me. I've wanted, since the beginning, to one day publish some of this saga into book form. Perhaps a print out of your kind words will help to convince a publisher? The challenge is, I have no strength (I've published a few books in the past, pre-injury) physically or mentally.

I hope your family forgave you...and ME! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this comment and thanks for your kind words. I am...nonplussed!